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Cycloneda sanguinea? - Cycloneda

Cycloneda sanguinea? - Cycloneda
Bastrop State Park, Bastrop County, Texas, USA
April 6, 2008

C. "emarginata"
The identification of C. emarginata for this particular feature combination was apparently given by Natalia Vandenberg, but I have not been able to reach her for comments yet.

There's a series of similar C. "emarginata" matching these features on iNaturalist, mostly from Mexico:

The feature combo here is: almost entirely dark legs, body shape flatter and notably elongated more like Hippodamia than Cycloneda, and pronotum markings always comma-shaped and not pinpoint or blotched. These seem to occur in localized populations and do not appear to integrate with "typical" forms. It apparently occurs from southern TX through central MX.

I suggest not moving anything until we get a definite from genitalia. This could all be confirmation bias and nothing but variation, but there is too much to ignore right now.

Specific features:
Dark legs -- also seen in otherwise normal specimens from AZ and NM, but otherwise C. sanguinea only has light legs. Not conclusive on its own.

Pronotum spots -- mildly variable, and I've seen oval ones in a few areas. But I've never quite seen the "extended dash" anywhere else in the species. Still probably within variation of C. sanguinea.

Body shape -- this seems pretty conclusive to me, at least when it isn't an effect of the photo.

That these individuals seem to have all odd features at once is interesting.


Cycloneda spp. are pretty variable
looking through 100s of Cycloneda spmns from Bastrop and surrounding counties in the UT, Austin collection I see many that are a match for this phenotype...

Hi Mike, excellent that you had a look in the collection and found specimen with this phenotype already collected! :o)

Now, the obvious next question would be: Did you have a chance to check the genitalia on a number of these? And how did that pan out?

Very interested to hear about that ...

Cheers, Arp

Cycloneda sp. w/ teardrop-shaped white pronotal spot
given how common this particularly shaped mark is, per my perusal of museum spmns, I trust that it has been dissected and not found to be a new US sp...

on the other hand - if you expect only the two species already known for the country/region, it is tempting to just stick a label on it corresponding to the most similar one. I've seen collection of thousands of Coccinellids with only very view specimen dissected ...
The collector/conservator would need to be aware of te possibility of it being something unknown to be inspired to do the extra work, me thinks, and if done the genitalia should obviously be mounted. If you didn't see that, then what are we looking at?
Just my first thoughts though, feel free to ignore ;o)
Cheers, Arp
P.S. Did you note any dates at all? Has this phenotype been collected "forever", or is there some correlation with more recently caught spcmn? More recent as in after Chapin's work maybe ...

Have you ever seen variations of this "phenotype"? Or intermediates that more closely resemble "typical" C. sanguinea and polita?

So far they appear to be fairly consistent: rather flat and oval body shape, black legs, and pronotum pattern intermediate between C. sanguinea and polita. This "form" extends through central Mexico and only just reaches the US through TX. "Typical" forms seem to occur in the same area, but I've not seen any mixes or intermediates.

PS. Wouldn't say the US Cycloneda are particularly variable compared to most genera...!

I was surprised at exactly how var. this genus is per spmns.
will shoot pix of the range of variation I see at work this week (but it may be awhile before I post said pix).

both C. sanguinea (L.) and C. munda (Say) are fairly common in Louisiana. this spmn keys to C. sanguinea (L.) per Chapin (1974), see pg. 62. Note that she gives no importance to the shape of the "isolated white spots."

Chapin was very meticulous on her lady beetle dets having conducted her doctoral research on LA conccinellids.

Chapin, J.B. 1971. The Coccinellidae of Louisiana (Insecta: Coleoptera). Doctoral Dissertation. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. xiv + 214 pp.

Joan described five new US spp. of coccinellids in 1973. (1) I'm 99% confident that she investigated this particular variation. (She also visited TAMU one or more times where I'm sure she encountered this form if it doesn't occur in LA, which I suspect it does.)

Chapin, J.B. 1973. New species of lady beetles in the genera Scymnus and Mulsantina (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 66: 1071-1073.

Thanks Mike
It isn't just the spots that intrigues me. Some of our other species in other genera are distinguished from less traits than this.

I would be interested in seeing more examples especially potential intermediates (not just in pronotum pattern, but also body shape and leg colour).

Who determined the original ID?
I don't believe C. emarginata is any more oval than sanguinea, see images here:

I'm interested in the fact that there is a consistently oval phenotype with a black elytral margin, black legs, and tapered pronotum spots, but I don't know if emarginata is the right name for it? I'd like to see more info on the determination.

If you find any more, please collect some
Mike Quinn and others are local experts who would be happy to look closer. Having confirmed records would be fantastic.

See comments below
Moved on the basis of Arp's correspondence with Dr. Vandenberg. I'll keep an eye out for more, but I'm not in TX too often these days.


Interesting idea Arp. I do agree that this is the same species as on Austinbug, but am not sure about what the correct identification is. Moving to genus to be safe.

Hi Graham,

Dr. Natalia Vandenberg kindly replied to my email today and she agrees that this photo shows Cycloneda emarginata. I don't think you can ask for a more authorative ID ;o)
Congrats on being the first to document this species for BugGuide!
Cheers, Arp

Thanks for getting in touch with her, and for suspecting it in the first place! Very cool!

Hi Graham,

I've asked around a little but didn't get any reply from North-American experts. Anyway, it would seem that the species hasn't been confirmed/published yet for the USA, so it would require a few specimen (preferably male) for dissection to put it on the map ... so ... you know what to do ;o) Cheers, Arp

What about Cycloneda emarginata ?!?

Just browsing through your images of Cycloneda to compare with a specimen found on Bonaire (Antilles) and stumbled on this one.

Looks like a fine candidate for emarginata to me. I'm not up to speed with publications on North American Coccinellidae, but on the web there are various previous reports of Cycloneda emarginata from the (southern) States, such as here:

Has the species not been officially published for the USA yet?

Cheers, Arp

Arp, what characteristics should we look for to determine C. emarginata from female sanquinea? The light margin on the pronotum looks like it might not extend across the apex on female sanguinea, but otherwise they look very similar.


Cycloneda emarginata ID
Hi Tim,

As I mentioned above somewhere I'm not an expert for American species, so I can only tell you what I "see". Please refer to proper descriptions in literature - I'll dig up some links maybe later or tomorrow.

C. emarginata is flatter, and a tad more elongate-oval viewed from above - sanguinea is much more "globular" in all directions.

As for the pattern on the pronotum: As you have mentioned yourself in female sanguinea the black is extended forward to the edge of the pronotum, at least in part. So the issue is the difference viz male sanguinea. I'm afraid this would show to be a bit more "statistical", but again I'm no expert: Looks like male sanguinea generally will have more of a white dent/notch into the frontal edge at center of the black pattern and that the lateral "white eyes" on average are more rounded vs narrowly oval and a bit slanted on emarginata with the black "flap" extending laterally toward the sides of the pronotum shaped somewhat differently too. Again, remember that I had to go ask for confirmation on my tentative ID with a true expert for these species :o)

Edit: Also, I have a gut feeling that on average the legs on sanguinea are lighter reddishbrown vs more truly black on emarginata ... but maybe I'm just grasping at straws here ;o)

Have a wonderful new year you all ! Cheers, Arp

Thanks Arp,

I believe the male sanguinea should be easy, as I believe they have solid white fill between the eyes (and the white notch in the pronotum apical margin, as you mention). It's the sanguinea females that I'm more worried about (such as this one where it's harder to tell if the apical pronotal margin is white or not, although it does look "globular").

If you find any links describing emarginata, I'd love to read them.


Moved from Ladybird Beetles.

you're in the right place to find these.

Judging by the white border...
completly across the bottom of the pronotum and the seemingly oval shape, I think this would be a Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens). We have several images of spotless H. convergens lady beetles.

I could be incorrect, but characteristics I'd have against convergens; 1) yes, the shape of this one is oval but the overall shape of convergens is much more elongated oval, with sides that sometimes appear almost straight medially, 2)this one also appears more convex than most convergens, 3) the spots on this one diverge basally - opposite of convergens (see -. Yes, it does have the yellow apical pronotum margin, whereas most sanquinea who have this also have it emargining (sp?) the black disk medially.

v's been in contact with Dr. N. Vandenberg, author of the family in Am. Beetles. I'll ask =v= to point the Dr. to this one for a look.

Thanks for the ID!
I'll replace one of my other poorer photos with this.

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